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Grateful for this Chapter & Nervous for the Next

Written by Lindsay King

As my family and I get ready to close this chapter of our lives, I have been reflecting on our time here at Waypoint and in the Triangle and am reminded of the importance of gratefulness. Webster defines grateful as “appreciative of benefits received” and thankful as “conscious of benefits received.” Gratefulness is more than just being thankful. It is an independent action we make from the core of who we are. It is a choice to awake up and say, “Thank you, God, for this day that I was not promised” no matter where you find yourself.

I currently find myself under a pile of boxes and bubble-wrap, grateful for the past five years and a bit nervous for what’s to come.

Grateful to have experienced what being part of a church that reflects its community truly means. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white, married and single, with kids and without, longtime resident and recently moved…our church is a true cross section of the Triangle. It is a place where, no matter who your neighbor is, who you work with, or who you happen to have a conversation with, you can invite them, and they will not feel out of place. Too often churches in America reflect a small portion of their community. Birds of a feather you might say. BUT the kingdom of God is not meant to be like that. In Revelations 7:9, John describes seeing “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” The true magnitude of the diversity of heaven is hard for us to understand, especially as our current culture seeks division at every turn. Fighting against division is not easy, but we do it every Sunday morning. Continue to embrace the differences, teach newcomers to do so, and if/when you leave Waypoint, seek to find a church that reflects your community.

Grateful to have loved and lost. When COVID hit, Caleb and I had been attending Waypoint for about a year and half and were just starting to make friends. But I found support from my new friends as they dropped in for a brief hello during my baby shower and dropped off meals when Nora arrived. COVID changed things; it’s still changing things. If I’m being honest, when I look around Waypoint, I miss friends who have already moved on, am saddened to know I’ll be the one leaving now, and surprised by the many new faces I see. I am grateful that Waypoint members welcomed me and that I had the opportunity to know, be loved by, and love so many of you. I’m not sure where you find yourself right now, but I can promise you are not alone in your feelings. If you are feeling alone, invite the person in the seat next to you to lunch. If it goes terrible, sit in a different seat the following Sunday and invite someone different. Take a leap of faith and ask someone “Will you be my friend?”

Nervous for what is to come. When we moved to the Triangle, I thought it was going to be our last move. Instead, God has used it as a season of personal growth, teaching me that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, capable of more than I know of, and more loved by Him than I believe I am. As Christians, growth…change…should be part of our core identity as we seek to become more like Christ (1 John 2:6), but we often find ourselves fighting against growth, because there is comfort in what we know, even if what we know is harmful for us. Personal growth is never easy, never straight-forward, and often painful. It feels like something is being destroyed; but in Christ, it is not destruction. It is renewal and redemption. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” Jesus says in John 10:10. Abundant life in Christ here on Earth is not a life of ease and financial stability. It is a life of living in tension between the sinful people we are and the perfect Savior we seek to become more like. However, as I encourage you to embrace growth and become more Christ-like, I can’t help but be a bit nervous because I’m pretty sure God is planning on using my growth in a way that will require more growth.

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